Pacers' offense too much for another opponent
Lakeridge's league opener against Clackamas may have been a trap game for the Pacers. The team was coming off a huge win against Aloha and couldn't be helped if it was looking ahead to this week's showdown with Lake Oswego.
But if Lakeridge was overlooking the Cavaliers it certainly didn't show. The Pacers overwhelmed Clackamas with their firepower and rolled to a 63-21 win.
It didn't take long for the Pacers to take control of the game.
Lakeridge got on the board quickly on a 63-yard pass from Tom Knecht to his favorite target in Blake Dutton.
Earlier in the week, the Pacers lost their talented place-kicker in Nick Sotta to a foot injury so Lakeridge went for two and Knecht hit Justin Luevano to put the team up 8-0.
Clackamas responded with a solid drive and a touchdown but its two-point conversion attempt failed.
Lakeridge extended its lead not long afterwards and again it was another long touchdown pass from Knecht to Dutton. This one went for 73 yards as the Pacers were nearly impossible to stop all evening.
Knecht was an incredibly efficient 14-for-17 for 344 yards and the Pacers also had plenty of success on the ground, racking up 343 yards as a team.
"They played us a little differently than they have in the past. Usually they're pretty aggressive with blitzes but they dropped eight guys back which made the run game easier and we took advantage," coach Tom Smythe said.
Lakeridge upped the lead to 21-6 on a one-yard by Dylan Gaar, his first of four touchdowns on the evening but Clackamas stayed in the game until midway through the second quarter.
Clackamas scored another touchdown on a short run to make it a one-score game but Lakeridge's Alex Alamida would run the next kick-off back 79 yards for a touchdown to put the Pacers firmly in control.
Gaar would score on a 16-yard run before the half to make it 35-13.
"The plan was to jump on them early and we were able to do that and basically put the game away by the half," Smythe said.
Lakeridge put the game away early in the third quarter, getting a four-yard touchdown run by Knecht and a 33-yard touchdown run by Dylan Erwin.
Gaar would add two more rushing touchdowns, the last of which went for 63 yards.
Gaar, Dutton and Erwin all ran for more than 70 yards in the game and Dutton had six catches for 234 yards.
The Pacers didn't have to punt in the game and had just one turnover.
Defensively Lakeridge was solid, getting another interception from Madison Pihl to end a Clackamas drive and Brandon Crane led the team with six tackles.
In short, Lakeridge took care of business and now all eyes are looking ahead to this Friday's Civil War game.
Lakeridge and Lake Oswego are both undefeated and ranked in the top five in the state and could be the most highly anticipated Battle of the Lake in the game's history.
"We certainly don't have to worry about getting our kids up for this one," Smythe said. "I can't think of one that's been bigger than this. For a while in the series we had the upper hand and (Lake Oswego) has obviously been very strong now for a long time. I'd imagine the track is going to be packed because there'll be nowhere to sit," Smythe said.